“Pride Of Lions is my vision of the best elements of the great melodic rock era of the 80s, updated of course with more modern production sounds”
These are the words of Jim Peterik, a man who just might know what hes talking about when it comes to great melodic rock Jim was one of the key figures on the music scene in the 70s and 80s forming the popular horn- rock band The Ides Of march at the age of 15 and singing and writing that bands platinum number one hit in 1970, Vehicle. (You may remember this song by the signature call- to- arms horn riff at the top and Jims growling first line. Im the friendly stranger in the black sedan, wont you hop inside my car.
From there Jim went on to form one of the most influential bands in rock- Survivor. Beside co- penning all of Survivors hits including High On You, I Cant Hold Back, The Search Is Over, Burning Heart, Is This Love, and of course the multi- platinum, Grammy- winning theme from Rocky III, Eye Of The Tiger, Jim also chalked up top 10 hits with 38 Special including Hold On Loosely, Caught Up In You, Rockin Into The Night, Wild- Eyed Southern Boys, Fantasy Girl and many more. With Sammy Hagar he co- wrote the platinum theme from the sci- fi animation feature, Heavy Metal. Jims other co- writes reads like a whos who of aor rock- Lynyrd Skynrd, Van Vant, Aerosmith, John Wetton, Cheap Trick, Uriah Heep, REO Speedwagon, David Carl, Kelly Keagy, Kevin Chalfant, Joseph Williams, Mecca, Fergie Fredrickson and many more.
Even before his birth, Toby Hitchcock was already hearing the music. Born in Kokomo, Indiana on September 19, 1977, the first child of Greg and Marcia Hitchcock was exposed to all types of music, especially southern gospel, through the talented voice and keyboards of his dad, plus his crooning paternal grandfather, Howard, who at 71 is still sounding very much like Sinatra. Toby’s mom, keeper of the family scrapbooks, has a picture of him still in diapers, already holding a mic and singing. Through the years Toby learned to hear harmony, singing with his parents, and eventually his sister, Tori, an awesome vocalist in her own right. From church musicals to “stealing the stage”, and some girls’ hearts, at school variety shows Toby’s parents were always sitting in the crowd, smiling, knowing what road he was destined to follow. Working with his dad, an excellent musician who plays from his heart, he began to feel the music in a new way at the age of 12, putting it into the steady beat of the drums and becoming an excellent musician himself. In high school, he was in the top chorus, the Varsity Singers. At 17 he advanced to nationals in Fine Arts and was also a finalist in local and state competitions. Though he struggled through the difficult teen years that many young men experience he came to find himself exactly where he started, in the middle of the music. Becoming a D.J., he first just played the music for others, engaging the guests with his easy charm and wit, loved by young and old alike.
In 1999, he joined the team at H.Y.P.E. Productions, an entertainment company who has hit Chicago by storm in the last couple years, supplying interactive dancers, live bands and vocalists for various events. In addition to being the lead singer & musical director of the bands, Toby has held just about every job at the company, including roadie, dancer, deejay, emcee, p.r. and engineer of their digital recording studio. Toby came to Jim Peteriks attention when Jims talented niece, Kelly Moulik, brought him to Jims studio to sing a duet on a new song that Jim and Kelly had just written called No Long Goodbyes. The two of them met at a Dick Clark audition just a few days earlier. The first moment I heard Toby on mic I knew I had come across someone really special.
When Jims band, The Ides of March played the Popcorn festival in Tobys home town of Valparaiso, Indiana about a year later, Toby went up to say hello to Jim and the guys after the show. This could not have come at a better time. Little did Toby know that Jim was in the beginning stages of planning his own album and was looking for a voice that could perform the powerful new songs that Jim loves to write. They exchanged numbers and rock and roll took its course. With the unconditional love and support of his parents, sister, grandparents, great friends and his best bud through the years, Josh Hrapek, and the influence of the church and a musical family, Toby Hitchcock has come of age (or “to this point in his life”), where his childhood, love and family, the tough lessons of life, and the beauty of music has molded him into one of the most promising male vocalists of this decade.